Renovations give Syracuse more affordable housing options

Oct 30, 2013

The pool of affordable housing in Syracuse is growing with the development of four multi-family apartment buildings along the James Street corridor.

City neighborhood and development commissioner Paul Driscoll doesn't think there are any other housing projects like it in the city: a mix of market rate apartments with affordable apartments in one building. The city is opening these four new apartment buildings after major renovations, and Driscoll said the affordability factor is key.

"This city's affordable, but the quality of some of the places people are living isn't what we want it to be," Driscoll said. "So this is an important addition of that portfolio of affordable quality housing."

The four buildings have been redeveloped by Rochester-based Conifer Realty, through a combination of private investment and federal and state dollars and incentives. This ultimately provides good quality apartments for 173 families in the urban core of Syracuse.

The Kasson Place on James Street is already filled with a combination of market rate and affordable rate apartments. Driscoll said a plus to this development is that it links a developing neighborhood with a more residential downtown Syracuse.

"There's a lot of good stuff going on in the Hawley Green neighborhood and the Prospect Hill neighborhood," Driscoll said. "We're just trying to make that connection from downtown to this revitalization effort and this goes a long way to making that connection."

In the case of The Kasson Place, it means redevelopment of a historic building in Syracuse, one that author F. Scott Fitzgerald lived in briefly as a child.

According to Driscoll, the apartments are also part of the Mayor Stephanie Miner administration's goal to connect downtown with the James Street corridor.